Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A soft start to India's tryst with drones

New Delhi: Nearly four years after banning the use of drones - or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - in the Indian airspace, the government has given a go-ahead for their commercial use. Though their use will be restricted until the government prepares more comprehensive guidelines, drones kicks off a new era where the delivery of goods, monitoring and surveillance is expected to get a major leg-up.

So far, the use cases of drones are restricted to areas like agriculture, forestry, power supply, geographical mapping, defence, e-commerce and film shooting, experts argue that more use cases are going to emerge over a period of time. Considering that civilian drones are fairly new, it seems that India has taken a lead in coming up with its own drone policy.

The drone ecosystem in countries like US and China has been fast evolving. For instance, there's a fight going on between hobbyists and large corporations like Google and Amazon on the usage of drones. Google, which has a drone programme Project Wing, is sceptical of the small-time drone operators as they might interfere with its autonomous delivery systems. Google and Amazon (through its programme Prime Air) are currently doing actual testing of drones for the delivery of payloads.
28/08/18 Manu Kaushik/Business Today
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